This past Black Friday, I decided to trade in my first generation iPad Mini for the new iPad Mini with Retina Display at the Macon PeachMac store. If you don’t know, PeachMac is the largest Apple reseller in the South with multiple locations in Georgia, Alabama, Florida and Virginia. You can trade-in your current iPad (or Mac, iPhone or iPod) for store credit to upgrade to a newer device. Plus, the overall experience that I have going into a PeachMac store is much better than when I go into an actual Apple Store. Just saying.
So is there anything special with the new iPad Mini with Retina Display? The screen size is 7.9 inch Retina display (2,048 x 1,536 resolution). In addition, the processor was upgraded to an A7 chip with 64-bit architecture and a M7 motion coprocessor was added to take the motion-related tasks that would normally fall to the A7 chip. This helps save on power usage thus improving battery life. Wi-Fi performance was improved by adding two antennas for MIMO (multiple-input multiple-output). Other than that, it’s your typical iPad Mini.
One thing that I noticed was that the new iPad Mini with Retina Display (as well as the iPad Air) does not have the Touch ID fingerprint reader like the iPhone 5S. I was a bit surprised about this omission but figured Apple needed to hold something back to get people to buy next year’s new iPads.
As with the previous generation, I also hate the speaker placement on the new iPad Mini. Depending on how you are holding it, the sound can appear to come from one side (or be muffled by your hand). Both the Google Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire get the speaker placement right so I can’t understand why Apple hasn’t figured it out yet.
At the end of the day, the new iPad Mini with Retina Display is still an iPad Mini – just with better hardware.